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‘Esplanade Mansion’ residents not to be evicted, HC to MHADA

In a relief to tenants of century-old heritage building ‘Esplanade Mansion’ in South Mumbai that has been declared dilapidated, the Bombay High Court has directed Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) not to go ahead with the eviction.

A division bench of justices R K Deshpande and V L Achliya, however, observed that if the occupants wish to continue occupying the building then it shall be at their own risk and the authorities shall not be held responsible if any untoward incident occurs.

The high court was hearing a petition filed by advocate Ashok Sarogi challenging the eviction notice issued by MHADA Repair Board on June 1 directing the tenants to evict as the building is dilapidated and dangerous.

According to the petition, the owners are interested in re-developing the heritage building.

“For the purpose of redevelopment, the owners are required to accommodate the existing tenants in the newly-constructed building but the owners are not ready to do this. The building is in a reparable condition.

“In the past also eviction notices have been issued and the tenants have been protected by the court. Despite ordering the owner to carry out repair work nothing is being done,” the petition alleged.

The high court on June 3 issued notice to the owner of the building and MHADA.

“No further steps shall be taken pursuant to the eviction notice on the condition that the occupants if they desire to continue in the occupation of the building in question, the same shall be at their own risk and consequences and the respondents shall not be liable for any damages, compensation for any mishap or untoward incident,” the court said, posting the petition for hearing on June 8.

The petition has sought quashing of the eviction notice dated June 1 and also a direction to the owner of the building and MHADA to issue no-objection certificate for repair of the building.

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